Food Review: Dolce Vita In Deptford

Marcella ★★★★★

Food Review: Dolce Vita In Deptford Marcella 5

Anybody who's been to Artusi in Peckham already knows why a second restaurant from these guys is such good news.

They have a knack at Artusi for simple, short and spectacular menus, for good wine at brilliant prices. And for turning a tiny, neighbourhood space into something that eclipses any number of bigger, flashier spots.  

Luckily this new Deptford Italian takes after its older sister in all the important ways.

Not exactly on the beaten track, but easily accessible via a 10-minute train from Cannon Street, it's a small, light space, simple but not stark — and the menu's along similar lines. A small blackboard lists a couple of pastas, a handful of small dishes and meat and fish options to share, and a couple of desserts — short, but so appealing that even those are difficult to narrow down far enough for two of us to take on.

Deep-fried artichokes are as simple as they sound, and more delicate - a dusting of cheese, crunchy outer leaves, soft and hot inside. Homemade ricotta comes with pickled nectarine and a scattering of green leaves, the cheese coaxed into airiness and brightened by the fruit's sharpness. And a dish of tagliolini with capers and anchovies is unassuming and lovely, deepened by beef stock. This is a place that knows its pasta.

It's also, apparently, a place where you can share a scattering of small plates, a pasta dish and dessert — enough to leave you comprehensively stuffed on spectacularly good food — sink a couple of excellent Vespa martinis and a carafe of deep, peppery wine, for about £30 a head.

Deep-fried, deep golden artichokes. Photo by Emily Crane
The appeal — and prices — of your local, neighbourhood restaurant, and the flair of destination dining. If you needed a reason to make Deptford your next night out, this is it.
Marcella, 165 Deptford High Street, SE8 3NU.

Last Updated 14 September 2017